Why would a patriot hide himself, unless he is weakening the British Raj quietly! Presenting to all, a book excerpt trailer of The Hidden Patriot with author Prof. Subhadeep Banerjee teasers (in red). Remember friends, not every shadow is a nondescript one!
Calcutta, 1943. The British Raj was being continuously threatened by militant activities of several underground revolutionary groups. They were resisting British rule through violent anti-government actions like targeted killings of European government officials and their Indian subordinates and street demonstrations against British rule. The government in return was using a ‘carrot and stick’ approach to rein in the revolutionaries through a combination of state terror in the form of police brutalities and powerful legislations on one hand, while also propping up supporters of the Raj in public life as examples of ideal citizens.
In this background, we turn our attention to noted professor of English literature and playwright Amal Ghosh, who one British official believed could become an ‘ideal British subject’. Born into a wealthy Bengali family Ghosh was a rather interesting man, to say the least. His father was a landlord from North Bengal with a history of allegiance towards the Raj.
(not the ideal freedom fighter background right?)
Deputy Commissioner (DC) of the Special Branch of Calcutta Police Mr. Daniel Brown actually cultivated Prof. Ghosh’s ‘friendship’ and often wrote to the Bengal government confidential reports that Ghosh be utilized to set up pro-government socio-political activities.
(Is Amal being propped up?)
The Special Branch in fact thought of him to be a very loyal British subject based on his writings and views. They had never put him under active surveillance due to his loyal lineage, deep knowledge and appreciation of the English culture. But, all that was going to change very soon, mostly guided by the role he was envisioned to play in the grand scheme of things as the rulers had designed. DC Daniel Brown was considering if Ghosh could be used in probing the extent of reach the revolutionaries had on the present college going population.
(What a beastly surveillance state the British Raj was!)
Brown: “Roy, we have to keep our eyes and ears open for potential trouble makers in these times of political agitations and terrorist action. The Raj relies heavily upon us.”
Roy: “Respected Sir Brown, no one bats an eyelid in Calcutta without knowledge of the Special Branch.”
Brown: “That is very good. Tell me something quite frankly. What is your opinion about this Amal Ghosh?”
Roy: “Sounds like a Bengali in awe of the British!”
Brown: “I know. You remember the last line from his poem the other day at the function?”
Roy: “Umm no Sir.”
Brown: “To freedom and justice and some other things he mentioned as a desire for India. Why would a loyal British subject think of freedom; freedom from what?”
Roy: “I think he is a sentimentalist Sir.”
Brown: “Has this man ever been under surveillance of the Special Branch?”
Roy: “No Sir.”
Brown: “That is precisely why we need to know EVERYTHING about Ghosh’s actual views on the British Raj and if he has any sympathy for the terrorists, before we can even consider him fit for such an operation.”
Roy: “Now I can connect the dots Sir. What do you plan to do about his passport clearance?”
Brown: “That can wait until we get to know him well enough. Besides, if he is to be utilized by us, then he needs to be kept in India. Who is your best field intelligence agent?”
Roy: “That would be sub-inspector Sekhar Chatterjee. He was in the audience that night as part of the watch team. He has a good network of informers. I can send for him.”
Chatterjee: “Is everything ready for the tea-stall Kalipada?”
Kalipada: “Sir everything is in place as you have instructed. What will be my name and details?”
Chatterjee: “You will be known as Bhola Biswas from Hooghly district, who had run away from home in his adolescent age to come to Calcutta for a living.”
Chatterjee: “As for you Nagina, you will monitor Silver at his house in Gallif Street.”
Nagina: “Sir if I find something suspicious will I inform the local police station for following up on his activities?”
Chatterjee: “Never involve anyone else without my orders. All of you will only monitor the situation. Kalipada, if you find any banned writings in the drama club, try to get one copy.”
(Who is Silver?)
A WATCHFUL NAGINA
Nagina Singh: “Sir I have some interesting news. Silver does not have good relation with Bimal Ghosh his younger brother, who is a medical student. They are always caught up in heated arguments.”
Chatterjee: “Which medical college does Bimal go to?”
Singh: “That I am yet to find out. But Sir I have made an important discovery. Let me show you something.”
He pulled out a paper containing a message from his bag and placed in on the table in front of everyone. Chatterjee looked at it and started reading out the contents.
(The contents are ALARMING, trust me!)
A BIG LEAD!
Chatterjee: “Excellent work Nagina. Yes, we need to pick him up to understand who this Hidden Patriot is and what does our boy Chandan know about the Ghosh brothers. Kalipada, you continue your work, while Nagina will come with me tomorrow to the Bowbazar police station. The officer in-charge (OC) inspector Shyamal Sengupta is an old friend. He will help us with this.”
(Pick up whom?)
SENGUPTA IS INCENSED
Sengupta: “Where did you find this; with this Chandan fellow? We need to arrest this person immediately and report to Lalbazar. This is a criminal offense.”
Chatterjee: “Hear me out first. I need a small team of two constables armed with revolvers today evening. We will pick up this fellow from in front of the Hogg market tonight. Please note that this will not be an arrest. We will bring him in for interrogation.”
(Action moves to Hogg Market Calcutta)
AN UNLIKELY SPY
Chandan: “Please do not harm my family. I am their sole hope in life. What do you really want from me?”
Chatterjee: “You will continue your job at Mr. Davies’s and also your newspaper job. We will speak to Mr. Davies for you. In return I expect certain things from you.”
Poet and dramatist Prof. Amal Ghosh held regular meetings with his small group of literature and theatre enthusiasts every Wednesday and Sunday evening, as had been earlier reported by constable Kalipada Das to sub-inspector Chatterjee.
Ghosh: “At least you people know me and know where I stand in this struggle. I always emphasize one thing – develop yourselves intellectually and do this in large numbers. One day British Raj will be overawed by your achievements.”
(Amal Ghosh is the idealist)
BRIEFING THE BOSS
Kalipada: “Chatterjee Sir, having heard from Nagina I think I am getting a clearer picture about everything. As I told you, Satyen is the most dangerous of them all and now I can understand as to why he is always in conflict with someone like Silver, who is a more soft-natured person. I think this comrade Ananta Sen is also well-known to Satyen since he is instrumental in bringing this person in on Wednesday.”
(Is Satyen The Hidden Patriot?)
COMRADE SEN AND AMAL GHOSH
Sen: “This may sound rather outrageous to you at the moment, but we need to infiltrate British run offices and gather as much information upon them and their collaborators.”
Ghosh: “Comrade Sen, I respect you for your struggle and achievements. But I do not see how our paths converge at the moment. If you need financial help for strictly social causes, I can readily oblige. But I am afraid I cannot promise anything more. You see, espionage is neither my specialty nor part of my character.”
(Amal Ghosh is a man of integrity and not of INTRIGUE)
As he was dozing off, someone called out his name from very close, almost too close for comfort in a hushed voice.
Chatterjee: “What the hell is going on? How dare you come in here? Where is Nagina Singh? Did he not tell you no one is allowed in my house?”
Chandan: “He is in hospital; he sent me here.”
(Why was Singh in hospital?)
A BODY BLOW
Chandan: “Sorry to walk in like this here Sir, but I have some very bad news. Comrade Ananta Sen has been shot in police action today afternoon. Satyen and Sen were transporting half a dozen automatic Mauser pistols from the Kidderpore docks to their Jibon Darshan office in Bowbazar.”
(A dead Comrade Sen will weaken the British Raj in an unlikely way)
Roy: “Right, and that is why, terrorists managed to shoot at Sir Daniel Brown! They pumped FOUR BULLETS into Sir Daniel Brown!”
Roy: “But that was a mistake! How could you not make the obvious connection between the terrorist who shot Sir Daniel Brown and Amal Ghosh?”
(Who made what mistake?)
To know the full truth, order your copy of The Hidden Patriot today!